No matter what your role, there are a million and one things you’re responsible for in business and it’s so easy for your attention to be dragged in a myriad of opposing directions.  If you succumb to the siren call of tasks demanding your attention, believe me, burn out will ensue. So, what’s the solution?

I’m currently working with Moe, one of the key team members of a company called Guardian Strata. I’m one of 4 experts helping to transform Guardian Strata by simplifying processes, leveraging technology and providing mentorship for Microsoft’s Small Business Makeover.

From the get go it was clear that while the award-winning SME Guardian Strata is known for it’s good work, internally they have inefficiencies specifically around workflow and productivity.

“What do you focus on?” I asked Moe.  His answer is one I’ve heard many businesses express before; because of the growth they were experiencing he was reacting to whatever hit his inbox.  He agreed this was neither the most efficient or effective use of his time.

So I asked him a simple, but powerful question.

“If you could only focus on three and only three activities or projects this week, and if by focusing on those three projects or activities and nothing else, it would be a successful week for you and the business, what would those three things be?”

I personally asked myself this specific question for the first time 9 months ago and it’s fundamentally transformed the way our team operates.

Moe paused and thought.  It’s not unusual for this to be a tricky question to answer, and yet it really shouldn’t be.

After 5 minutes of stress testing a few ideas, he got clear on what they would be.  These three high value activities will be different for every person in every business. The vital thing is that once they’re known, they can be prioritized and focused on above all else.

Moe is now implementing this strategy with the rest of the Guardian Strata team. He’s changing their monthly meetings to weekly meetings (even for those that work remotely who will join via skype) and ensuring every individual is clear on the three high-value activities that would make their week successful.

It might seem simple, but it is the combination of these two things that are the beginning of what will create a true high performance environment in Guardian Strata.

When we ask this powerful question (of ourselves and our teams) and define our 3 high-value activities, we transform the week from a chaotic rush of reactive activities, half-finished projects and inbox slavery to a clear focus on core projects specifically aligned with business objectives. Productivity is increased, burn-out reduced and results achieved.

Check out the Microsoft Small Business Makeover at WWW.MODERNBIZ.COM.AU #ModernBiz